Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul was a military commander in the Pakistani Army in the 1980s, and served as the head of the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency from 1987 to 1989.
But Gul’s rise to fame came during the Pakistan-Saudi-US effort to keep funds and logistical support flowing to the Afghanistan mujahidin, who were eventually credited with defeating Soviet military and political forces.
During the Bush administration, the US sought to put Gul on a UN list of international terrorists but their efforts were blocked by the Chinese delegation.
Domestically, Gul has been an outspoken opponent of Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, and has called for the Supreme Court to be reinstated as the rule of law in Pakistan.
Al Jazeera interviewed Gul during a short visit to Doha.